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17-year-old accused of murder set free after bond reduction

17-year-old accused of murder set free after bond reduction

Should a 17-year-old with past criminal charges, currently facing a first-degree murder rap, be let out of the county jail thanks to his million-dollar bond being reduced to $200,000? That’s what some people are asking, and based on comments made on social media, the public at large is not only saying, no, but hell no. Seventeen-year-old Carlos Julian Contreras had his problems last September after being arrested and charged in Hidalgo County with four misdemeanors – drugs (opioids and benzodiazepines) and weapon (handgun) possession – but that’s nothing compared with the first-degree murder charge he is facing today. Contreras, who is the son of  Alamo Fire Chief Roy Contreras, is a PSJA student. His alleged victim is Genaro Isaiah Castillo, 18, who attended Donna High School. The body of Castillo was found south of Donna Lake along Valley View Road in a sugarcane field in the late afternoon of Jan. 14, 2020. Hidalgo County Sheriff investigators found .40-calibre shell casings near the body. The victim had suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the torso, leg, and head, according to Sheriff “Eddie” Guerra. Through the course of the investigation, major crimes investigators learned that Castillo was having issues with a friend, Carlos Julian Contreras, age 17. In the early hours of Jan. 15, Contreras was sitting in his pickup truck located at the residence where he lived with his parents. A bloodstained napkin was in the truck as were multiple bullet casings, according to the sheriff. Contreras admitted to picking up the victim in his truck and driving to Donna Lakes. According to Guerra, Contreras later made statements that he and Castillo were involved in several criminal enterprises; and Castillo owed him money. During a press conference made shortly after Castillo’s arrest and subsequent arraignment, Sheriff Guerra said that through the course of the investigation, his investigators had learned that Contreras was a “bully type of person,” and that people are afraid of him, but now that he was safely behind bars, perhaps people who might know something about the murder might be more willing to come forward with any information they might have. If not, they could always call the sheriff’s crimestoppers hotline anonymously at 956-668-TIPS. On Feb. 3, however, in a county auxiliary court, auxiliary judge, Jose Longoria, who is a former state District Judge before losing a Nueces County re-election in 2016, reduced Contreras’s million-dollar bond down to $250,000 after the defendant’s attorney, O. Rene Flores, successfully ...

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